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Which software please?
I've been using Picasa for quite a while now and have a collection of many thousands of pics taken over the past 10 years of digital photography for me (switched from a point and shoot to a Canon XTi about a year ago and loving it)..

I like Picasa, but I'd like to play with RAW format (Picasa displays the images but the exif data's missing and the editing in raw is non-existent). (I'm also first exploring custom WB and flash techniques, etc.).

What I need is a package that will organize (easily scroll through thumbnails, and switch between the folder structures that contain the pics, etc.) tens of thousands of pics (with just about no delay), operate fast and easy and allow quick and easy editing as well as give me the power to edit in RAW..

I'm looking at the following, but am stuck:.

ACDSEE 8: $50Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2: $90Adobe Photoshop Elements 6: $90Adobe Lightroom ~$300.

Some of the very useful things that Picasa has (that I wouldn't want to lose) is the ease of uploading to my choice of online photo printing services and creating and uploading web pages to picasa.googleweb.com.

I'd appreciate some direction..

Thank you very much,.

Joseph..

Comments (20)

I would recommend Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.

It is the little brother of Adobe CS3 and has all the bells and whistles you would need to do some serious editing.You can download a free trial copy from Adobe and use it for 30 days (I think).In addition you can keep on using Picasa as it will not clash with it at all.HTHTom.

Http://www.pbase.com/tomstorey..

Comment #1

I haven't tried any large scale collections with Smart Pix Manager, so I don't know how well it performs at that point. But it does work with RAW files. And you can easily link it to your photo editor of choice..

Http://www.xequte.com/smartpix/index.html.

They have a free trial you can download. And their support is pretty good, just E-mail them with any specific questions..

Kelly Cook..

Comment #2

Add Gimp, UFRaw and Rawtherapee to your setup and see if any of them suit you there's no need to get rid of picasa and these three are all free so there's no harm in trying them out..

Http://www.rawtherapee.com/http://ufraw.sourceforge.net/http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/..

Comment #3

I have lightroom and love it..

It has a slight learning curve but once you get past that your work gets done so fast. From sorting and viewing in the library, to the ease of editing your pictures. Plus it never alters the original picture, allowing you to revert back if you like. Its also easy to export your pictures with the changes for CD, printing or the web. It will even setup the html thumbnail and full photos for you according to the settings you choose. Well worth the money if you have to manage and edit lots of photos..

Photoshop will give you far more creative options but cannot manage your pictures like lightroom can.But put them together and you have some power...

Comment #4

Lightroom is meant for working with large numbers of photos, organizing them, basic editing, and then presenting them on the web or print. I think it came about mainly to meet the needs of wedding photographers and the like. It also has great RAW file support. It internally uses ACR latest versions..

I have not lightroom to comment on it's speed but I believe it uses an internal database which will allow for extremely fast searches and organizational abilities..

I would take tihe time to try the free trial, you will probably like it..

PScs3 would then be the next program to support Lightroom, which is used for very complex editing of individual photos, where as Lightroom is used for more everyday editing and organization of a large number of photos..

Hope this helps.

Ed..

Comment #5

Josephny wrote:.

What I need is a package that will organize (easily scroll throughthumbnails, and switch between the folder structures that contain thepics, etc.) tens of thousands of pics (with just about no delay),operate fast and easy and allow quick and easy editing as well asgive me the power to edit in RAW..

All RAW processors and programs with their own explorer-like browser will allow this. But you're not going to ever get no delay with thousands of pictures, unless you set up image caches, previews, or have a fast computer..

I'm looking at the following, but am stuck:.

ACDSEE 8: $50Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2: $90Adobe Photoshop Elements 6: $90Adobe Lightroom ~$300.

I think what you're looking for is a dedicated RAW developing program, not some "all-in-one" package. In this case, Lightroom would be the best, since it has the most cataloging aspects, but I still think they have a LONG way to go with it. Utilizing aspects of RawShooter is step #1. It also doesn't have a file browser as well (and yes, I want this too). For many, it is good though. I'm much more picky.

For that reason I'd skip Elements since they're the same price. Plugins seem to be universal between the two as well..

Some of the very useful things that Picasa has (that I wouldn't wantto lose) is the ease of uploading to my choice of online photoprinting services and creating and uploading web pages topicasa.googleweb.com.

I don't actually know much about these things by doing them in program, sorry...

Comment #6

It's organizational abilities once you figure them out are just flat out amazing.It does raw very well and most basic editing.It uploads to printers and web pages with particular ease.A member of the rabble in good standing..

Comment #7

LM2 wrote:.

It's organizational abilities once you figure them out are just flatout amazing.It does raw very well and most basic editing.It uploads to printers and web pages with particular ease..

Lol, I woudln't say that's it's flat out amazing...

Comment #8

Well thank you all very much for the suggestions and analyses..

I've been playing with Raw Therapee this morning. It seems quite powerful. What I'd like is all that power in a simple to use and understand environment. That is, I don't understand 75% of the adjustments, so I'm shooting in the dark when I make these changes..

I realize that the idea of a single program that does everything perfectly is unrealistic..

I suppose I should learn more about RAW editing/conversion before making a decision..

I'd ask for any suggestions as to the best adjustments/conversion settings for a couple of .cr2 fies, but I can't figure out how to make them public (picasaweb.google.com won't let me upload this file type and flickr has a 5mb limit per pic)..

Thanks!..

Comment #9

Going from Picassa, to a more full-featured editor may be a big step? Here are my personal recommendations to you....

There are some good free editors. Try IrfanView and FastStone. Avoid geeky software like GIMP!.

You are not ready for, nor do you need, CS3..

Start with something simple, like PSE6 (I think Costco has it on sale for $50...or will soon). I would NOT recommend the Organizer that is packaged with PSE6...it's a separate program, but linked. Just get rid of it..

For an organizer, nothing beats LightRoom. Since it only loads thumbnails (never the big files), it is fast. Since it rarely touches the originals, it's unlikely to destroy them. It's output is just a sidecar file that contains data about the edits you made. ONLY when you "export" the file is a copy made..

If you exit LR during an edit, it saves your edits (quickly). When you launch LR again, you are back (quickly) to where you were!.

LightRoom is a "photo database". It is a bit confusing at first. You will need some clue as to how it's best used. Go look at Michael Tapes free seminar on RawWorkflow.com:.

Http://www.whibalhost.com/_Tutorials/Photoshop_LR/01/index.html.

Viewing this will help a LOT..

Here is how my workflow looks:.

1. Put memory card in reader and inport into LR (you can set it up to do this automatically).

2. Specify in LR where to locate files and what to name these pix. There are auto defaults or you can manually set it each time..

3. Perform basic PP on the pix. You can easily do batches of them with the same changes...or do each individually. You manage JPEG and RAW files the same way! You can create generic profiles and use them when you import..

4. Export the ones that you want to use. You can automatically launch your selected full pic editor and have the exported pix be imported into it..

5. I use PSE6 to tweak about 10% of my pix...things that require selections and layers..

6. I also have several specialized addins...things like NR and geometric distortion correction...installed within PSE6. I use NoiseWare Pro and PTlens..

Don't assume that I think MY workflow is right for everyone. There are so many good solutions that everyone can establish a process that's right for them. But LM2, acoomer, and Ed Grenzig are right. Try the 30-day LR trial and see if it's worth $300 to you..

It will also import those pix you already have and not move them....

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #10

Thank you for the details of your work flow and your recommendations..

Now I'm so confused why one would use PSE6 AND LR together, when LR is a better organizer and editor. What am I missing?.

Is LR that much more complicated/complex?.

Chuxter wrote:.

Going from Picassa, to a more full-featured editor may be a big step?Here are my personal recommendations to you....

There are some good free editors. Try IrfanView and FastStone. Avoidgeeky software like GIMP!.

You are not ready for, nor do you need, CS3..

Start with something simple, like PSE6 (I think Costco has it on salefor $50...or will soon). I would NOT recommend the Organizer that ispackaged with PSE6...it's a separate program, but linked. Just getrid of it..

For an organizer, nothing beats LightRoom. Since it only loadsthumbnails (never the big files), it is fast. Since it rarely touchesthe originals, it's unlikely to destroy them. It's output is just asidecar file that contains data about the edits you made. ONLY whenyou "export" the file is a copy made..

If you exit LR during an edit, it saves your edits (quickly). Whenyou launch LR again, you are back (quickly) to where you were!.

LightRoom is a "photo database". It is a bit confusing at first. Youwill need some clue as to how it's best used. Go look at MichaelTapes free seminar on RawWorkflow.com:.

Http://www.whibalhost.com/_Tutorials/Photoshop_LR/01/index.html.

Viewing this will help a LOT..

Here is how my workflow looks:.

1. Put memory card in reader and inport into LR (you can set it up todo this automatically)2. Specify in LR where to locate files and what to name these pix.There are auto defaults or you can manually set it each time.3. Perform basic PP on the pix. You can easily do batches of themwith the same changes...or do each individually. You manage JPEG andRAW files the same way! You can create generic profiles and use themwhen you import.4.

You can automatically launchyour selected full pic editor and have the exported pix be importedinto it.5. I use PSE6 to tweak about 10% of my pix...things that requireselections and layers.6. I also have several specialized addins...things like NR andgeometric distortion correction...installed within PSE6. I useNoiseWare Pro and PTlens..

Don't assume that I think MY workflow is right for everyone. Thereare so many good solutions that everyone can establish a processthat's right for them. But LM2, acoomer, and Ed Grenzig are right.Try the 30-day LR trial and see if it's worth $300 to you..

It will also import those pix you already have and not move them....

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #11

Josephny wrote:.

Now I'm so confused why one would use PSE6 AND LR together, when LRis a better organizer and editor. What am I missing?.

PSE6 is a selective editor, where as LR is an allover editor. In LR, you can't make any selections, adjustments are global. This is why you need an extra program in case you want finer details. If this was cooking, think of Lightroom as the chef, where all the main work gets done, and PSE6 might be the food stylist, making it look good for a menu. There's only so much you can do in LR, and Photoshop fills in any gaps after..

Is LR that much more complicated/complex?.

It's not very complex at all. There are different tools that may look like they're doing the same thing, but really do different things. It's just about learning the subtle differences and applying them in a real life situation...

Comment #12

So PSE6 is, in some respects, more powerful and more light PS cs3 (in terms of selecting and adjusting certain areas of a pic)?.

Glitched wrote:.

Josephny wrote:.

Now I'm so confused why one would use PSE6 AND LR together, when LRis a better organizer and editor. What am I missing?.

PSE6 is a selective editor, where as LR is an allover editor. In LR,you can't make any selections, adjustments are global. This is whyyou need an extra program in case you want finer details. If this wascooking, think of Lightroom as the chef, where all the main work getsdone, and PSE6 might be the food stylist, making it look good for amenu. There's only so much you can do in LR, and Photoshop fills inany gaps after..

Is LR that much more complicated/complex?.

It's not very complex at all. There are different tools that may looklike they're doing the same thing, but really do different things.It's just about learning the subtle differences and applying them ina real life situation...

Comment #13

Josephny wrote:.

So PSE6 is, in some respects, more powerful and more light PS cs3 (interms of selecting and adjusting certain areas of a pic)?.

I wouldn't say it's more powerful, but it is definitely more lightweight and aimed at being user-friendly. It is exaclty what you've said too - a slimmed down version of CS3. It's called Elements because it includes features that Adobe considers the essentials, rather than the whole package. But it still doesn't have the organizational or RAW developing features that Lightroom does, that's why Lightroom is also sold sepearately as well...

Comment #14

Josephny wrote:.

So PSE6 is, in some respects, more powerful and more light PS cs3 (interms of selecting and adjusting certain areas of a pic)?.

Your question is confusing. PSEn is a slightly reduced version of the currently high-end PS. It can do about 95% of what CSn can. Only VERY advanced users need the special features in CSn..

Back to your earlier question about the differences between LR and PSE6...here are examples of things that can only be done in PSE6:.

1. Apply selective NR. Suppose you have a pic that has terrible noise in the sky. Select the sky areas and use NoiseWare Pro to heavily NR ONLY that part of the pic. Since there are no "details" in the sky, that will produce a smooth sky with no downsides..

2. Duplicate the base layer. Use Levels to make a part of the pic lighter (for example whites of the eyes and the teeth) and then erase the original (on top) so that the brighter eyes and teeth show through..

3. Correct geometric distortion. Run PTlens..

4. Correct perspective distortion..

5. Combine two pix. When I take group pictures, I rarely get good expressions on EVERY face. SO, I take several identical pix. Then if I find a "bad" expression, I take the "good" expression from one of the other exposures and overlay the "bad" face..

6. Clone-out a soda can in an otherwise stunning landscape..

These are the kinds of things that LR can't do. You won't need to do these types of edits on every pic, but when you need to do these things, a full editor is required..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #15

Glitched wrote:.

Josephny wrote:.

So PSE6 is, in some respects, more powerful and more light PS cs3 (interms of selecting and adjusting certain areas of a pic)?.

I wouldn't say it's more powerful, but it is definitely morelightweight and aimed at being user-friendly. It is exaclty whatyou've said too - a slimmed down version of CS3. It's called Elementsbecause it includes features that Adobe considers the essentials,rather than the whole package. But it still doesn't have theorganizational or RAW developing features that Lightroom does, that'swhy Lightroom is also sold sepearately as well..

I sorta agree about that last sentence...but, both LR and PSE use ACR to process RAW pix. So theri capabilities in this regard are identical. The difference is that PSE uses ACR as a separate program and ONLY uses it for RAW...LR however uses ACR in a transparrent way (you never know that you are using it) and it's human interface is much better..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #16

Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2: $90 I like this program it is nice but look around you might find it less then the $90. I got mine for only $40. and I am loving working with it...

Comment #17

That's a very informative description of the difference the examples help a lot for someone with limited knowledge of the technical terms and techniques..

So what can LR do that PSE can't?.

Chuxter wrote:.

Josephny wrote:.

So PSE6 is, in some respects, more powerful and more light PS cs3 (interms of selecting and adjusting certain areas of a pic)?.

Your question is confusing. PSEn is a slightly reduced version of thecurrently high-end PS. It can do about 95% of what CSn can. Only VERYadvanced users need the special features in CSn..

Back to your earlier question about the differences between LR andPSE6...here are examples of things that can only be done in PSE6:.

1. Apply selective NR. Suppose you have a pic that has terrible noisein the sky. Select the sky areas and use NoiseWare Pro to heavily NRONLY that part of the pic. Since there are no "details" in the sky,that will produce a smooth sky with no downsides..

2. Duplicate the base layer. Use Levels to make a part of the piclighter (for example whites of the eyes and the teeth) and then erasethe original (on top) so that the brighter eyes and teeth showthrough..

3. Correct geometric distortion. Run PTlens..

4. Correct perspective distortion..

5. Combine two pix. When I take group pictures, I rarely get goodexpressions on EVERY face. SO, I take several identical pix. Then ifI find a "bad" expression, I take the "good" expression from one ofthe other exposures and overlay the "bad" face..

6. Clone-out a soda can in an otherwise stunning landscape..

These are the kinds of things that LR can't do. You won't need to dothese types of edits on every pic, but when you need to do thesethings, a full editor is required..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #18

So PSE is 'essential,' as the name says, for making pics look good..

And LR is essential for organizing (not sure what organizing features it has that PSE, or Picasa, for example, doesn't)..

As far as developing, are we talking about WB, brightness, etc. settings for the conversion to jpg?.

Thanks.

Glitched wrote:.

Josephny wrote:.

So PSE6 is, in some respects, more powerful and more light PS cs3 (interms of selecting and adjusting certain areas of a pic)?.

I wouldn't say it's more powerful, but it is definitely morelightweight and aimed at being user-friendly. It is exaclty whatyou've said too - a slimmed down version of CS3. It's called Elementsbecause it includes features that Adobe considers the essentials,rather than the whole package. But it still doesn't have theorganizational or RAW developing features that Lightroom does, that'swhy Lightroom is also sold sepearately as well...

Comment #19

Josephny wrote:.

That's a very informative description of the difference theexamples help a lot for someone with limited knowledge of thetechnical terms and techniques..

So what can LR do that PSE can't?.

I started to say "nothing", but that's too simple an answer..

The biggest difference is the WAY it does things. With PSE, the Organizer is a separate, linked program. With PSE, the RAW converter (ACR) is a separate, linked program. With LR, everything is in one program and the interface is consistent. But LR is more than it would seem by describing it's capability..

LR is up to Rev. 1.31 now. Each revision has fixed a few bugs and added more capability. It's hard to say if or when LR will get more of the capability of older versions of Photoshop, but it's clear to many that it is the platform for the future. Quit asking questions. Go look at that seminar by Michael Tapes and then download the 30-day free trial.



Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #20

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